Multiple Grade I winner Palace Malice has been retired from racing and will stand stud at Three Chimneys Farm for the 2016 season, Dogwood Stable and Three Chimneys announced Thursday.
Palace Malice had been plagued by a series of physical setbacks this season in his attempt to return from bone bruising that was discovered following his sixth-place finish in the 2014 Grade I Whitney last August. The 5-year-old son of Curlin only managed two starts this year, running third in the Diablo Stakes at Belmont Park on May 10 and fourth in the Alydar Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 9.
“It is with great disappointment that we announce the retirement of Palace Malice,” said Dogwood Stable’s president, Cot Campbell. “He is the horse of a lifetime who has brought our partners exciting memories that will live on forever. After getting a clean bill of health in November subsequent to an uncharacteristic performance in the Whitney last year, I owed it to my partners and the fans to give it our best shot to see if we could bring the mighty son of Curlin back in 2015.
“Despite our sporting effort, it was not meant to be.”
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Palace Malice was one of the most versatile runners of his generation. The bay horse rebounded from a 12th-place finish in the 2013 Kentucky Derby to capture that year’s Belmont Stakes, the final leg of the Triple Crown, as well as the Grade II Jim Dandy Stakes.
When Palace Malice returned for his 4-year-old season, he rattled off four consecutive victories en route to establishing himself as one of the nation’s leading handicap horses. He opened his campaign with wins in the Grade II Gulfstream Park Handicap, Grade II New Orleans Handicap and Grade III Westchester Stakes before earning arguably his most impressive career win in the 2014 Grade I Met Mile.
In the Met Mile, Palace Malice overcame having to break from the undesirable No. 1 post position and gamely fought past eventual two-time Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Goldencents to win by a length.
“Palace Malice was all class from day one. He was one of those rare horses whose raw speed allowed him to dominate his division as a miler yet whose stamina had him winning the Belmont against the best of his generation,” Pletcher said. “He was the most versatile horse I have ever trained, and one of the best. You don’t see such a talented, multi-dimensional horse like this very often. To win the Belmont one year and come back the next year and win the Met Mile in 1:33 2/5 it’s an unbelievable accomplishment, and indicative of his exceptional talent.”
Bred by William S. Farish, Palace Malice retires with seven wins from 19 starts and $2,691,135. A stud fee for 2016 has yet to be announced but Palace Malice will be available for inspection at Three Chimneys throughout the upcoming Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
“Palace Malice is a valuable addition to the strengthening roster at Three Chimneys, as he possesses a superb physical to go along with an amazing body of work as a racehorse,” said Doug Cauthen, vice chair of the Three Chimneys board. “John Malone’s Bridlewood Farm will be a cornerstone partner in the horse, and we anticipate that a coalition of shareholder partners will be added over the next month to ensure this extraordinary horse’s chances to succeed at stud.”